Reds’ season draws to a close after Sydney defeat


Adelaide United’s A-League 2020/21 season has ended following a 2-1 Semi-final loss against Sydney FC at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Saturday night.

Adelaide toiled hard but found themselves two goals down at the break and it proved a mountain too big to surmount.

Adam Le Fondre converted a penalty after a VAR review before Bobo, just before half-time, finished off an impressive attacking move.

James Delianov saved a Le Fondre spot-kick in the second-half to keep the visitors in the contest, and 11 minutes later Juande scored a screamer to halve the deficit.

The Reds were brave in their endeavour but ultimately could not muster an equaliser, falling short at the Semi-final stage for the second time in three years.

Adelaide made a confident start to the match and grabbed the ascendancy early with two promising incursions into the box.

Ryan Strain had a shot at the near post which ricocheted off the crossbar before Sydney began to dictate the tempo.

Delianov conceded a penalty after catching Kosta Barbarouses which was only awarded once the VAR got involved.

And Le Fondre stepped up and dispatched his effort into the bottom corner on 24 minutes.

The momentum shifted back into Adelaide’s favour again though they could not capitalise on its dominance and only managed to create half chances.

Sydney would score the sucker punch two minutes before half-time. Anthony Caceres played a diagonal ball out to Joel King and his first-time volley picked out Bobo and he clinically doubled the Sky Blues’ advantage.

United was slow out of the blocks in the second stanza and conceded a second penalty following another review by the VAR.

Barbarouses was fouled inside the box by Javi López but the offside flag was raised, only for the decision to be eventually overturned after he was onside by millimetres.

Le Fondre took the responsibility again but this time he was brilliantly thwarted by a diving Delianov, who guessed the right way after the Englishman opted to place the ball in the same spot as his first.

Mohamed Toure was introduced and his impact was immediate, winning a free-kick after running at Sydney’s defence.

Tomi Juric struck the ensuing dead ball into the wall and the rebound sat up kindly for Juande, who smashed in the half-volley which flew into the top corner for his maiden Reds goal on 64 minutes.

Juric had a header saved by Thomas Heward-Belle five minutes later and moments after appeared to have been clattered into by Alex Wilkinson.

No penalty was given and as the Reds continued to search for parity, they appeared vulnerable in transition as they threw numbers forward.

It was not to be though as Carl Veart and his team’s campaign ends in what was a gallant effort.

Team news

Carl Veart retained the same starting XI which defeat Brisbane Roar 2-1 in last weekend’s Elimination Final, while Mohamed Toure returned to the bench at the expense of his brother, Al Hassan.

Key moments

13’ | CHANCE! Strain makes an overlapping run following Halloran’s clever flick wide and the right-back clips the crossbar on an acute angle.

24’ | GOAL: After a VAR review Barbarouses is adjudged to have been fouled by Delianov and Le Fondre makes no mistake from the ensuing penalty.

43’ | GOAL: Bobo finishes off an efficient attacking move involving Caceres and King.

53’ | SAVE! Delianov dives to his right to deny Le Fondre from the spot after the striker goes the same way as his first attempt. It is the 21-year-old’s second penalty save this season.

64’ | GOAL! Juric’s free-kick crashes into the wall and on the follow-up its blasted in on the half-volley by Juande.

69’ | CHANCE! Juric’s glancing header from López’s cross is tipped over the bar by Heward-Belle.

Match details:
Saturday, 19 June 2021
A-League 2020/21 – Semi-final
Sydney FC 1 (Le Fondre (p) 24’, Bobo 43’)
Adelaide United 2 (Juande 64’)
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium